We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic SNL sketches countless of times. But in this weekly column Sketchy MVPs, The Laugh Button shines a light on comedians from our favorites shows and troupes who don’t often get rightful credit for their contributions to sketch comedy.
Last week, we featured Martin Short’s work on SCTV, many of which also found its way onto Saturday Night Live. So this week, we’re going to revisit some of our favorite SNL moments from Short’s co-host on his new variety series, Maya & Marty: Maya Rudolph.
From 2000 to 2007, Rudolph constantly proved she was one of the strongest female cast members to ever perform in Studio 8H. There was really nothing she couldn’t do; she could sing, she could nail impressions, she could play well with others, or she could steal scenes with a single, wacky line or mannerism. Some cast members on Saturday Night Live may have overstayed their welcome, but there’s a reason why we’ll always enjoy witnessing Rudolph return to the show, whether to host or simply make an unannounced cameo.
Since leaving SNL, Rudolph has found box office success in films like Bridesmaids (as well as a few flops… like Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping… too soon?), and has appeared in numerous TV shows. She even got her own NBC variety special back in 2014, before teaming up with Short for a joint venture. But while we’re enjoying Maya & Marty so far, take a look back at a few of our favorite moments of Rudolph’s time on SNL.
It’s always delightful to watch Rudolph and Amy Poehler portray two stereotypical moms from the Bronx hosting a morning talk show. We’ll never get tired of hearing them complain about their husbands and kids, or in the particular case above give a teenager advice about bra shopping [editor’s trivia note: You may remember that Katy Perry, who portrayed the teenager going through… maturity, wore an Elmo t-shirt in the sketch in response to getting cut from an episode of Sesame Street for showing a tad too much cleavage].
“Leilani Burke: Pet Psychic”
A whole sketch about a pet psychic talking to animals about her music career in reality sounds too odd to be good… yet Rudolph pulls it off, making us wish Leilani Burke could just get that big break.
“The American Trainwreck Awards”
As briefly mentioned before, Rudolph had a knack for nailing impersonations, from Oprah to Beyoncé, to everything in between. For some reason though, we always had a soft spot for her trainwreck take on Diana Ross, which essentially took elements of her famous Whitney Houston impression to even more extreme lengths. And thanks to the above award show parody, we get a glimpse at what a Diana Ross and Anna Nicole Smith comedy duo could’ve been like.
The premise of parodying the sexual suggestiveness of VHS workout videos is great on its own merits, but its Rudolph, Poelher, Kristin Wiig and Drew Barrymore’s performances as workout models that truly makes this a classic digital short.
“Super Showcase Spokesmodels”
Ok to be fair, what makes this spoof of The Price Is Right (which originally aired during an episode hosted by Rudolph) so special is the fact that no one can keep a straight face. But it’s still a testament to how much fun Rudolph and Wiig had together while on the show.
“The Best Of T.T. And Mario”
Simply hearing Rudolph and Keenan Thompson sing in a funky tone “Your Booty’s So Tight” makes this compilation commercial parody gold.
Rudolph’s take on the iconic fashion designer is a great example of an SNL cast member transforming an impression into its own, beloved character… well, that’s all we’ve got for you, NOW GET OUT!